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Research Design

Paper Outline

Introduction
Research Participants/Target Population

Instruments

Sampling Procedure/ sample size
Conclusion

Research Design
Introduction
A research design can be defined as a “blueprint” for a research, and it normally deals with at least four issues. These aspects include: what is the question to be studied; what data is relevant to be incorporated in the study; what data does a researcher need to collect; and how the data collected may be analysed. Therefore, the best research design will depend on the research questions and the target of a researcher (Khanzode, 2004). There are two main categories of research questions: the descriptive and explanatory researches. A descriptive research normally explains what is happening. On the contrary, explanatory research focuses on giving an explanation on what is going to be done. Therefore, a research design is more than just a framework. This is because it ensures that the evidence obtained enable the researcher to answer the initial question (Zikmund, 2008).
Research Participants/Target Population
Measuring an aspect in the entire population is quite challenging in any social science research because of the population diversity. Therefore, it becomes necessary to select a sample from the entire population using the most appropriate sampling technique. The selection of participants is critical in the research process (Kumar, 2005). In this study, participants will be human resource managers and employees of various selected companies. The managers and employees to be selected will be categorized for the purpose of the study. Therefore, it is essentially important to be a ware of the procedures involved in the selection of the most appropriate group of participants. Normally, participants are selected after selecting the most appropriate research design for the study. The participants may be selected using probability sampling. In this case, the participants have an equal opportunity of being selected in the sample, and the probability can accurately be determined (Cooper & Schindler, 2011). Under probability sampling, there are various sampling techniques involved. Some of them include simple random sampling and multi-stage sampling among other sampling methods. In simple random sampling, all participants have equal opportunity of being selected (Zikmund, 2008). Therefore, in this study, simple random sampling is going to be applied because of its simplicity. Also, this sampling strategy ensures that all participants have an equal chance of inclusion.
Instruments
According to Kumar (2005), the instruments for data collection to be used in a study depend on the information to be gathered. Therefore, in this study, several instruments will be incorporated together in order to obtain a sharp focus of the study. Among the tools that are going to be applied include personal Interviews, observation, self administered survey, checklist and rating scale. Personal interviews will be conducted among the human resource managers of the selected firms. The researcher will interview the human resource managers of the selected firms by asking them questions regarding employee training and retention. The answers will be recorded as the interview proceeds. In addition, questionnaires will be structured and distributed to the selected firms. However, prior to the distribution of the questionnaires a pilot study will be conducted among the classmates. This will aim to test the validity and reliability of the structured questions (Khanzode, 2004). Observations will also be used in this study. In this case, the researcher will observe the overall impact of employee retention and training on the returns of the firm. In connection to the above, checklist will be used to collect data. This is because the checklist contain terms that the respondent understand and normally expresses the respondent’s views. Finally, the rating scales are going to be used while collecting data. Rating scale is a recording form used for measuring individuals’ attitudes, aspirations, and behavioural aspects of individuals and groups (Cooper & Schindler, 2011).
Sampling Procedure/ sample size
The research design to be used in this study will be a case study. This is because a case study will give the researcher an in-depth understanding of whether there is a correlation between the employees’ retention rates and the overall profits of the company. This will further enable the corporate managers and other stakeholders in the selected companies to make an informed decision regarding employee retention and training. The target population will consist of 35 best performing listed firms in the New York Security Exchange. A sample of 10 companies will be picked out of the 35 selected firms using simple random sampling. The use of simple random sampling means that all participants will have equal chances of inclusion in the study. Therefore, the threat to validity and reliability will be substantially reduced (Kothari, 2005). Additionally, prior to the actual research, an application letter for special permission will be sent to the targeted firms. After permission has been granted, actual research will be conducted.
Conclusion
The above discussion has explained the process of coming up with a research design that include all relevant components of a research. However, coming up with a research design requires time. This is because it involve coming up with a model that determine how the overall research will be conducted. The importance of a research design is that it enables the researcher to come up with valid and relevant outcomes of a study.

References
Cooper, D.R. & Schindler, P.S. (2011). Business research methods. New York: McGraw-Hill/Irwin.
Khanzode, V.V. (2004). Research methodology: Techniques and trends. New Delhi: APH Pub.
Kothari, C.R. (2005). Research methodology: Methods & techniques. New Delhi: New Age International (P) Ltd.
Kumar, R. (2005). Research methodology: A step-by-step guide for beginners. London [u.a.: SAGE.
Zikmund, W.G. (2008). Business research methods. Mason Ohio: South-Western Cengage Learning.


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